A Complete Course of CPA

Glossary of Terms - MUST READ!!

As request, I put together a glossary of terms commonly found on this site, and other avenues of internet marketing.

I've listed these terms in a way that's easy to read through.

Affiliate / CPA Marketing

Affiliate Marketing and CPA Marketing are terms used to describe commission based marketing. Where the advertiser is paid on referral of a sale, lead, or specified conversion.

Technically, Affiliate Marketing describes receiving commission on a sale and CPA Marketing describes getting paid for a leads or action, but both are used quite interchangeably.


A server which you store your website, landing pages, squeeze pages, and anything else you want to put on the internet.

Affiliate Network / CPA Network

Acts as a middle man between affiliates (publishers) and merchants looking for people to promote their products or services.

Affiliate Manager / Account Manager (AM)

As a member of an affiliate or CPA network, you'll be assign an Affiliate Manager / Account Manager to help answer your questions. Commonly abbreviated as AM.


A product found on an affiliate or CPA network, that pays you a commission for a conversion.

Exclusive Offer

An offer exclusive to the affiliate or CPA network.

Brokered Offer

An offer brokered from one affiliate network to another affiliate network.

Affiliate Link

The specific tracking link found in your affiliate or CPA network. You'll use this link to send people to the offer, this link is important for tracking your conversions.

If your conversions are not tracked, you'll be not credited a commission.


The amount you'll be paid for a conversion on a specific offer.


When someone completes your offer, and you are given a commission.

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

A type of offer found on affiliate and CPA networks. When the affiliate network only pays an affiliate when they deliver an acquisition.

Commonly abbreviated as CPA. For example, “I'm testing this great CPA offer.”

Cost Per Lead (CPL)

A type of offer found on affiliate and CPA networks. When the affiliate network only pays an affiliate when they deliver a lead.

Commonly abbreviated as CPL. For example, “I like CPL offers, since their payout's lower they are cheaper for to test.”

Cost Per Sale (CPS)

A type of offer found on affiliate and CPA networks. When the affiliate network only pays an affiliate when they deliver a sale.

Commonly abbreviated as CPS. For example, “I like CPS offers, since their payout's higher they have more potential.”

Cost to Consumer

What the consumer has to pay on a CPS offer to trigger the conversion. A lower cost to consumer is usually better.

Incentive Offer

An offer that allows you to give the user a bonus for completing it. This could be points, content, prizes, and in some rarer cases cash is allowed.

Most CPA and Affiliate Offers DO NOT allow incentive traffic, if you do this to the wrong offer you will banned from your CPA or Affiliate Network.

Email Submit

An offer that converts after a user enters their email. A type of CPL offer.

Zip Submit

An offer that converts after a user enters their zip code. A type of CPL offer.

Free Trail Offer

An offer which has a $20+ payout, but only has a cost to consumer of $1 to $7. The high payout is available because the merchant will likely recurrently bill the consumer for some sort of subscription type service. A type of CPS offer.

Pay Per Call Offer

An offer that pay your per call into a specific phone number.

Pay Per Download Offer

Commonly abbreviated PPD, a service that lets you host download links, and pays you per download or visit.

Unique Click

A unique click is a click to your ad or offer from a single IP address. For example, “I got 100 clicks, but one person clicked on my offer 10 times. So my unique click count is 91.”

Conversion Rate (CR)

The rate at which an offer converts. Commonly abbreviated as CR. For example, “My offer got 30 clicks and 5 conversions. So my CR was 5 / 30 = 16%”

Earnings Per Click (EPC)

The amount of revenue generate on average per click. Commonly abbreviated as EPC. For example, “I got 30 clicks to an offer, and got 1 conversions with a commission of $60. My EPC was $60 / 30 = $2”

Ad Network

A network that allows you to purchase traffic via an advertisement. Ad Networks are made up of four main traffic types; Social, Search, Media/Display, and PPV/CPV. There are others, but these are currently the most popular.

Traffic Type

The way you are generating clicks.

Social Traffic

Social traffic is any traffic generated from a social network. For example Facebook Ads, MySpace Ads, Twitter, ect.

Search Traffic

Search traffic is any traffic generated from a search network. For example Adwords, Bing Ads, 7Search, ect.

PPV Traffic

PPV/CPV Traffic is any traffic generated from a pop-up, pop-over, or pop-behind network. For example LeadImpact, TrafficVance, ect. PPV is an abbreviation for Pay Per View. CPV is an abbreviation for Cost Per View.


Media/Display Traffic is any traffic generated from a Media/Display network. Media/Display Traffic is generally bought in bulk, and is more expensive then other sources. Typically requiring a $10,000+ starting budget.

Junk Traffic

Very cheap, low quality traffic, usually international traffic.


A planned effort to make an affiliate commission. For example, “I created 5 new ads in my Mature Dating campaign on Facebook Ads today.”


The way you go about putting your pitch or spin on the offer.


Refers to your advertisement.

Ad Title

The headline of an advertisement.

Ad Image

The image portion of an advertisement.

Ad Body

The text of an advertisement, that is not your Ad Title.


The URL displayed in an advertisement. Not necessary the URL where the advertisement takes the visitor.


The amount you are willing to pay for the click, impression, or whatever you are bidding on.


A single showing of your advertisement.

Pay Per Click (PPC)

Buying traffic by the click. Commonly abbreviated as PPC.

Cost per mille (CPM)

Cost per mille (latin for thousand), the advertising cost per thousand views. Commonly abbreviated as CPM.

Click Through Rate (CTR)

The percentage of impression / clicks. Commonly abbreviated as CTR. For example, “My advertisement had 300 impressions and 5 clicks. So my CTR was 5 / 300 = 1.6%”

Cost Per Click (CPC)

The advertising cost per click. Commonly abbreviated as CPC.

Direct Linking

Choosing not to use a landing page and directly linking from your advertisement to your offer via your affiliate link. Not recommended.

Landing Page (LP)

A page used to help pitch the offer to the visitor. Found in between your advertisement and offer's affiliate link. A landing page is not required, but highly recommended. Commonly abbreviated as LP.


Your landing page click through rate. The metic of how many clicks you get from your landing page to your offer. For example, “My landing page got 30 clicks and 5 people clicked on my affiliate link to go to my offer. So my LP CTR was 5 / 30 = 16%”

Above the Fold

Refers to the portion of a webpage that is visible without scrolling down.

Squeeze Page

A simple page with the goal of getting a user email address for list building.

Listing Building

The art of collecting visitors email addresses to later email.

Email Blast

The act of sending out a mass email to your email list.


Refers to a service that can be used to collect and blast emails. Auto-Responders are commonly used for list building.

They will also allow you to send out timed released messaged to your email list, earning it's name Auto-Responder. I highly recommend AWeber.


Making tweaks, adjustments, and/or split tests to your campaign to help to improve it.


A method use gain insight on your advertisements. With tracking you can see what keywords, URLs, ect, generated a commission. I recommend Tracking202 and CPVLab.

Sub-Id Tracking

Sub-Id Tracking is a type of tracking located on your affiliate network where you are allowed to pass variable from your affiliate link, into your affiliate network.

So you can see in your reports which specific variables got more clicks or conversions.

Postback Links

Postback Links refer to a link that when will be pinged when a specific action happens. Generally this specific action is a conversion.

The conversions will be tracked via your tracking system looking for pings to the URL. More info on Postback Links here.

Conversion Pixels

Conversion Pixels are image pixels that are displayed when a specific action happens. Generally this specific action is a conversion.

The conversions will be tracked via your tracking system looking for how many times the image has been displayed.

Split Test

A test done between two or more ads, landing pages, offers, or any else, comparing which is better.

Return on Investment (ROI)

The amount of money you make back on your investment. Commonly abbreviated as ROI.

For example, “I sent $40 in advertising at my ad network, and made $80 in commission for my conversions at my affiliate network. My ROI on my campaign is currently $40 / $40 = 100%”


The amount of money brought in before expenses.


The amount of money brought in after expenses.

Case Study

A publicly shared study of an affiliate marketing campaign.
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